New Extremophiles: ocean bottom dwellers make own oxygen (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 00:18 (9 days ago) @ David Turell

Process only partially understood:

"At the moment, the researchers aren't certain how the microbes are pulling off this trick, and the amount of oxygen produced appears to be relatively small (just enough for their own survival) – but it does look to be different to the few oxygen-without-sunlight processes that we already know about.

"What the new pathway does show is that the oxygen production from N. maritimus gets linked to its production of gaseous nitrogen. The microbes are somehow converting ammonia (NH3) into nitrite (NO2-) – a process they use to metabolize energy – in an oxygen-depleted environment.

"In turn, this requires them to make their own oxygen, which the team detected traces of, along with the byproduct of nitrogen gas (N2).

"This process removes bioavailable nitrogen from the environment – and that's a new wrinkle in the nitrogen cycle, which underpins all ecosystems. This finding could have "far-reaching" consequences, and that needs more investigation."

Comment: obviously life is made to be tough. There is much to be learned ab out extremeophiles.

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